It’s not like I spend my day looking for cures for cancer, I just design and redesign digital experiences. Even so, when something you worked on, however small, gets genuine public attention including (justifiable) criticisms and joyous praise, it feels like a big deal.
So much of the day-to-day work is behind the scenes. Hours of screentime, meetings, sketching and commutes home with ideas buzzing in your head. Then it breaks the surface and with celebrity behind it, it leads to me spending an inordinate (and unbillable) amount of time monitoring the twitter streams fishing for compliments.
So that was myFry and that was yesterday. It occurred to me yesterday that this took place around an app that isn’t even free and, whilst it is undeniably popular, it is never going to be an Angry Birds (Rovio 6m+ sales) or even an ECB Cricket App (the OTHER media). Those apps reach the sort of population that – even ten years ago – would have been considered incredible sales records for the most successful of recording artists. In this day and age, a well-designed and popular app means your creativity is engaged with far beyond the single sales for Xfactor winners (< 0.5m units).
So that got me thinking a bit more (since I was involved on the outskirts of the hugely successful Waterslide and less successful Rollercoaster apps, both of which are free), does it matter more when the app is paid-for? The myFry app is nearly £8, it is hardly throwaway entertainment. Users rightly demand that such experiences work. As far as I can recall this was the first thing I have done which is directly paid-for by end consumers. Of course, sites I have worked on are indirectly paid for as customers buy the products and services offered but the transaction is nevertheless perceptibly free, they have not just shelled-out cash to use the interface.
That customers have just paid for it means that they more-keenly feel the user-experience niggles (and there are some, both intentional and unavoidable) and feed these back into the AppStore reviews. It is these reviews that I care deeply about, the heartfelt feelings of the people I spent hours and hours designing-for and thinking about in front of my screen and sketchpad.
And there I will leave myFry, until I need to return for alternative versions, updates or any other development that Dare and Penguin see fit. You, dear reader, will only know more when such additional work becomes public.